Summary:

The worsening economy is now hitting even online UK advertising, which many web folk had thought would weather the storm, research firm Ende…

The worsening economy is now hitting even online UK advertising, which many web folk had thought would weather the storm, research firm Enders Analysis said today.

Whilst print and broadcast ad spend shrinks around it, especially in classifieds, the web was expected by many to continue drawing advertisers seeking more guaranteed return on investment. But Enders, in a note today, observes an ad cutback is an ad cutback, whatever the medium…

Deteriorating economic conditions are impacting growth in online advertising, with display and classified especially affected – though search, which accounts for about 60 percent of spend, remains relatively robust.” It cut its forecast for 2008 online ad spend from £3.56 billion: “Our revised forecast is for online advertising to grow 18.5 percent to £3.33 billion in 2008; we still expect it to overtake TV ad spend this year, however it is likely to be close, with TV set to decline by 5.75 percent to £3.27 billion.”

Enders’ forecast is more sober than this month’s from World Advertising Research Centre (WARC), which hubristically expected “the internet can confidently be predicted to grow throughout the predicted downturn”, growing in every sector except financial services ads. But WARC forecast slower growth – 17.6 percent this year and 12 percent next.

FT.com MD Rob Grimshaw in May said: “Over the next three to five years, there

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